Following mounting pressure on Canada to reveal evidence regarding an extraterritorial assassination that took place on its soil, recent media reports have suggested that the Canadian government possesses intelligence linking Indian officials and diplomats to the killing. The information, obtained during a months-long investigation into the murder of Hardeep Singh Najjir, includes communications involving Indian officials, including diplomats working in Canada.
Sources within Canada’s national security community claim that Indian officials did not dispute these allegations during closed-door meetings with their Canadian counterparts. However, the accuracy of these claims could not be independently verified by The Guardian.
In an effort to secure cooperation from the Indian government in the investigation of the Najjir killing, the head of Canada’s intelligence agency and the national security and intelligence adviser have recently traveled to India. Their visits come as domestic pressure mounts for the Canadian government to release additional information pertaining to the “credible allegations” initially outlined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Parliament.
Addressing the issue at the United Nations in New York on Thursday, Trudeau emphasized that Canada was not seeking to escalate tensions but called on India to collaborate and help establish the truth behind the assassination. Trudeau stressed the significance of upholding the rule of law and the protection of Canadian citizens, adding that justice and accountability should prevail.
The allegations have drawn the attention of the United States, with top national security adviser Jake Sullivan expressing concern. The US is coordinating with Indian officials and closely consulting with allies like Canada as the investigation proceeds. Some of the intelligence provided to Canada originated from a member of the Five Eyes alliance, an intelligence-sharing network composed of the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The issue was also raised with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the recent G20 summit.
In response to the growing dispute, India has temporarily suspended visa processing for travel to Canada, affecting thousands of individuals, including a significant diaspora population. India’s foreign ministry cited security threats to its consulates in Canada as the reason for this measure. Meanwhile, Canada’s deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland, emphasized that the focus should remain on Canadian safety and the rule of law, suggesting that retaliatory actions were not warranted.
As the tensions persist, the two countries have also halted trade talks valued at billions of dollars. Both India and Canada had previously indicated that the negotiations were nearing completion. The ongoing diplomatic fallout between the nations highlights the seriousness of the allegations and the potential implications for bilateral relations.
1. What evidence does Canada have linking Indian officials to the assassination?
Canadian media reports suggest that the government possesses intelligence and communications involving Indian officials, including diplomats based in Canada. However, the accuracy of these claims has not been independently verified.
2. Has India denied the allegations?
Yes, India has rejected the allegations as “absurd.” The two countries have engaged in a tit-for-tat expulsion of top diplomats in recent days.
3. How has the dispute affected travel between India and Canada?
India has temporarily suspended visa processing for travel to Canada, disrupting the plans of thousands, including a significant diaspora population. Canada has not announced similar retaliatory measures.
4. What actions has the US taken in response?
The US has expressed concern about the allegations and is in discussions with Indian officials. They have affirmed their commitment to defending basic principles and consulting closely with allies like Canada during the investigation and diplomatic process.